does right now. you don't want to be there if the folks size up your opponent asking why not him president? seems like he'd make a nice president. just worry about that whole thing for me. okay. good night. john: politics, do they lie or advocates just spin? >> i like to work with people who provide services to me. john: this season, it's beyond true, serious about confronting political propaganda 6789 that's our show tonight. ♪
and now, john stossel. [applause] john: i could never run for political office because i don't keep my mouth shut. i offend people all the time and what i mean to say does not come out right. during a mock presidential debate, i said "college is stupid for some people." it is. producers turnedded that into an attack it'd. >> he says college is stupid, stossel, bad for our kids. john: what do candidates say when things are spun badly? my colleague, andrea tantaros, has answers. she used to be press secretary for the republican leadership in the house so you worked for boehner and company, and you then lied to us in the press about stuff? >> i never lied.
it was actually hasser and company and tom delay. the goal of press secretary is to be as honest as possible, but you can never lie to the media. it's a cardinal rule. john: i assumed you always lied to the media. >> you have to have a careful way of phrasing things. it's verbal gymnastics. for example, i worked on a senate campaign, and i knew the candidate was dropping from the race. i couldn't say that. the media senses turmoil. john: is he dropping out? >> he's a candidate for senate today, and we're in it until we're out of it, john, and right now, we're talking about the issues because right now we were talking about those issues. saturday, probably not, out of the race, but you have to have creative ways to phrase things. john: something that caught romney in trouble was telling donors that 47% of americans are
takers, not makers. >> who believe they are entitled to health care, food, housing, you name it. that's an entitlement, government should give it, and they vote for this president no matter what. john: he took heat for that. how would you have handled that? >> well, in this instance, i think he could have explained it better. i think in those situations you take a crisis -- what could seem like a crisis, a video like that leaked, turn it into an opportunity. let president obama attack first, and then use that as a chance to explain myself saying, you know what? those 47% deserve an opportunity. there's more checks out the door than jobs created. i want to represent the 47% and make sure they have a chance, and i will work for them. that's what you do. you spin obama's policies which are more checks, more dependents, and say, listen, that's a shame. that's a shame they get a check. no onements to get a check from the government. it doesn't feel good. opportunity feels better. that's what i do for the 47%.
john: i thought he was saying it does feel good to them, they like getting a check? don't some people like it? >> i think some do. i mean, hey, i'm greek, i know what happened in greece better than anybody. i think giving people free stuff is politically seductive and people don't want to work, but i think if you're going to spin it, and that's what's you're asking me to do, that's how i would. john: president obama was criticized for saying this. >> if you got a business, you didn't build that. somebody else made that happen. >> the issue is that they kept saying -- you took the words out of context. that was not the full quote, but the issue was, john, when you play the full quote, it only got worse from there. john: saying things like you had a good teacher paid for by the government. takes a village. why is that a bad argument? >> because i think if they were going to do it the right way, they would have done more unity, all together.
instead, it only made business owners feel really terrible about themselves, and there was a way they could have done it, i think, that didn't make them seem hostile to business. they didn't do that. john: mote vatting some to -- motivating some to wanting to get involved. >> exactly. john: returning to governor romney. >> i like will being able to pre -- to fire people who provide services to me. >> i heard that, and i thought, oh, that's going to be an ad. they'll clip the words. he forgot a word. it should have been bad services, but i think that would have been a chance for him to also explain the difference between government and the privet sector. if someone's not producing or helping you produce and be productive, you should have the right to fire them, look at the government. a lot of people in government, we can't fire them, like the current president. we have to wait four years. john: a business that serves you, you can fire all the time.
that keeps them competitive as good, but romney didn't say that. >> he didn't. he didn't connect to workers either who we've all -- we've all worked with somebody who is not producing, and so we get it. that means more work for us, and that means less profit for our employers. john: president george w. bush criticized for trying to sell propaganda after two months from invasing iraq, flew to the pacific and then was had the big mission accomplished banner behind him, he declared -- >> in the battle of iraq, the united states and our allies have prevailed. [cheers and applause] jowrn: so when he said that, everybody was thrilled. why is that a gaffe? >> i think the left tried to spin that it was a gaffe, but because it was so unsettling on the ground, in iraq, it didn't really mirror what a lot of the news reports were; however, again, if you're going to spin
that, he was correct. they did accomplish the mission which they outlined originally at the time. john: and then reality in the next few months, and that statement looked done. >> nay got into the nation building. the goal was to topple hussein. they accomplished that. if i spin this, i say it was a nice pat on the back to the men and women in uniform who accomplished that goal. what's wrong with that? my favorite part was the oh, how dare you response. john: how dare you attack the military. >> how dare you; right? he did that on a battleship. i mean, it was patriotic. we accomplished a goal. john: you're on television, saying how you feel and what the truth is, but when you did this spin, did you feel dirty? >> sometimes -- i wouldn't say "dirty," but i think i felt confined, and when i left
politics and i left being a spokesperson for governors and senators and members of congress, i said, i'm just going to speak for myself now, and it's much more freeing to be able to explain your own views. john: not that you're cleaner now -- >> just more freeing that you can say whatever you want to say when you want to say it. i would never be mired by either party's positions, and i hope to do that every day here on this network. john: thank you, andrea. i hope you do. so politicians, to avoid having to deal with the likes of andrea, try to stick to the script saying the same things over and over. >> we're in an economy that's built to list. >> an economy that's built to last, built to last. john: oh, come on, that makes them sound phony, and romney does it too. still, rohit bhargava says the repetition is smart. he approaches this from a business angle being a marketing
consultant and author of "likeonomicss," and managing editor of the reason hag, -- magazine, and you agree with me thhs is repetitious. >> they can either say the same thing every single day into eternity or mix it up, say what they think, at which point they are accused of having made a gaffe. john: because no human being can mix it up and not say something that keeps him from being legislated? >> you know, you spend time in the public eye. you know how hard it is to say exactly what you mean every single time. michael has a great line that a gaffe is a politician accidently telling the truth. i think that's, you know, that's something we can all relate to. john: rohit, you say the repetition works, what seems to me stupid because i'm paying attention. the people are not paying that
much attention. >> it's in business all the time that they run ads over and over again, and the idea is that if they run it enough times, it's memorable, and first of all, you have to separate remembering, just because they remember it, doesn't mean they believe it. john: you argue it's good when the candidates say in the debate, tell a personal story? >> yeah, people connect to people. that's a fact seen over and over again, and it's why politicians do everything from bringing in stories of the woman they met in ohio, what she told them about her life through shaking hands and kissing babies. the oldest political cliche ever. john: i can't believe voters like this. when romney, at the debate, said, oh, my wife was at a rally in denver, and a woman came up with a baby in her arms saying, ann, my husband lost his job,
can you help us? it's not phony to people? >> well, you know, i think it's the best people's got. i think both guys are trying to be as human as they can. >> that's ridiculous; right? why should the guys have to pretend to be human? >> they have to. >> presumably, they are human. we'd like to see evidence of that occasionally on the trail, but, you know, as we saw with the clips played earlier, when you get out there and say the phrasing, and what you say to your bar at the buddy, that's on c-span and cnn, there forever. john: you're a business strategy guy, councilled intel, and things they do, politicians could do. >> yeah, one of the things you're seeing in a lot of business marketing is finally taking a different approach than the spokesperson model we know which is you get one person, a guy or girl, to go out there and talk on behaver of the company.
you see the companies putting employees front and center. the ibm campaign is an example of that. a person says this is what i'm working on, i'm an ibmer. it's not just the ceo, but someone working there passionate about what they do. john: costco was honest about the markups. >> only 15%, and actually costco gets value from that, not just from the super, super loyal customers, but treating employees fairly because they don't have employee turnover. they stick around. john: domino's? >> everybody does focus groups, what do you think about the product? usually it's a super secret thing. dominoes put people in ads, and the people said the crust takes like card board and the sauce tastes like ketchup. they said, we heard you. we're not going to distract you with a kin --
cinnamon crusted pizza. they worked. they got record sales after that. it boricked -- it worked. john: thank you. coming up, ann coulter will defend mitt romney against my criticisms. and ellis henican defends president obama. first, you remember this controversial political ad? the people behind it are here, and they will reveal its sequel to us for the first time here tonight. ♪
[cheers and applause] john: this election season, there was a political ad i liked. it says what needs to be said about america's government. >> the average american taxpayer feeding big government. >> any questions? [laughter] john: no question government pecks you to death. the campaign manager responsible for the ad is mark block who ran herman cain's campaign. does he look familiar? you may know him because he appeared in another herman cain
ad. >> we can take this country back. ♪ john: ever since, mark block is nope as the smoking man. no one smokes on television anymore. [laughter] >> trying to get a message across, john, that the cain campaign was non-traditional and knew we had to do things out of the box to catch the public's attention, and it was kind of, like, in your face, just leave us alone, and it was -- john: i'm a smoker, it's not your business? >> exactly. john: leave people to indodge their vices. >> we had no idea it would explode the way it did. john: 2 million saw it on youtube. >> and 24 million saw it played on the networks. it accomplished a couple goals that we had was to show that the
cain campaign was, indeed, outside the box, but also to get that earned media because we didn't have the budgets others had. we knew day one, john, that we would not have the finances to compete on the air waves. fascinating, isn't it? you took a man from nowhere in january, and four straight weeks at the top of the polls without spending a dime on media. john: you paid for that ad, didn't pay for tv stations. >> that ad cost $386. john: i'd like the idea that government should leave us alone is pop tiew lar -- popular with people. >> we're on a 30 day, 30 city, three events, 13 state tour. john: you have a new group. he leads the job creators solutions? >> job creators solutions is an organization co-formed by bernie
markus, co-founder of home depot, and herman cain with the mission to educate the public on issues facing us today. john: that government doesn't always make life better? >> that government has to get out of the way, or this economy and this country's going down the tubes. john: the chicken ad, you know, people say it's ridiculous, this is low budget. it's silly. it's beneath the importance of politics, and, yet, on super tuesday -- >> one of the most viewed youtube videos out there, just like the smoking ad. john: got more hits than all the other guys running their commercials. >> combined, yes. john: the girl who says "any questions" is the director's daughter. >> yes. john: this director works for other people in addition to the smoking man ad. one is a congressional candidate running in california against nancy pelosi -- good luck to him -- immediate --
med ya was not giving him attention. >> strangling job creation, burying us under a mountain of debt. >> do you want 500 americans to lose their jobs? are you serious? >> i am. john dennis, and i approve this message. john: he's the candidate, but, really, zombies. argue the chicken ad, which i love, and the zombies, sort of silly, but that gets you to dismiss the candidate? >> just the opposite, john. nobody was paying attention to the candidate until that ran. now the rnc is in that race, and people are paying attention. it had just the effect it was supposed to. john: now, you've just made a new smoking man ad. let's take a look at it. we're seeing it for the first time on this program. ♪ >> today, i'm pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in
office. >> i will be held accountable. if i don't have it done in three years, there's going to be a one term proposition. >> in response to a video -- >> very incentive video. >> this video -- >> crude and disgusting video. >> the video -- ♪ john: what's this going to do? >> we're hoping it goes viral as the first one did, and the message is simple is this president has been blowing smoke for the last four years, and it's time for him to go. john: thank you, mark block. next, what about propaganda from ppesident obama? he said he would create and reduce the deaf silt. i'm ticked off about what he
said versus what he does, but the next guest defends our president. we'll fight next. 4g lte is the fastest. so, which supeast 4g l service would yochoose, based on this chart ? don't rush into it, i'm not looking for the fastest answer. obviously verizon. okay, i have a different t t t. going that way, does that make a differenc? look at verizon. it's so much more than the other ones. so what if we just changed the format altogether ? isn't that the exact same thing ? it's pretty clear. still sticking with verizon. verizon. more 4g ltcoverage than all other networks combined.
♪ [applause] john: political propaganda. some times of political ads, but more often the candidates themselves. propaganda. then make promises they don't keep us eight things they don't need. suck up to special interest groups. president obama does that. look at this clip from this debate against john mccain. >> actually, i am cutting more than i am spending so that it will be in that spending cut. john: what? what expending cut? increased spending to at $3 trillion. but newsday columnist ellis henequen -- ellis henican says i am wrong to be so cynical. he said he would cut, and he spent like a drunken sailor.
>> we all want a president who will say something way before he becomes elected and feel like he is completely, rigidly tied into that in ways that he cannot deal with events as they happen. a lot of stuff happens, some of it was pretty bad, and you want a president to is in there being flexible for you. john: he was be really flexible. >> okay. john: when he debated hillary clinton he said -- he complained that government spent some much money on programs that don't work, and he was going to eliminate a whole host of them. >> we need to eliminate a host of programs that did not work, and i want to go to the federal budget line by line, pagg by page, programs that do not work we should cut. john: it would be great if he did. he did almost none of that. just lying. >> well, hold on a second. i mean, there is an awful lot of money that has been spent. much of it bad enough support, but the reality is that we entered the early days of his administration a huge fiscal
problems that nobody was ready for, that nobody -- get at of that. john: he knew that when he was saying these things. the recession had already begun. the housing bubble had burst. >> i don't think anybody knew it would be as bad as it turned out to be. so because it was that he had -- he really meant to cat. there are no programs that don't work that he could cut. he cut a couple tiny. john: clearly a lot of things out there. why does the do what he said he would do. >> here is the reality. presidents, we expect, to represent our values. being careful and cautious about the money we spend. we want to have opportunity in this society. you want to train people. there are a whole series of other needs that we have come
together as a people, and some of them cost a lot of money. john: all of them seem to. and i would think the president is just selling as propaganda. look at this. >> after inheriting a $1 trillion deficit i signed to a trillion dollars of spending cuts into law. john: he signed the spending cuts? >> they cut some stuff. john: what he was saying was that after the next ten years, instead of increasing spending by the 10 trillion i wanted to i will increase it by just seven and a half trillion. isn't that deceit? >> well, it is kind of going -- john: a $2 trillion spending cut. >> it's easy in kind of broad strokes to say, oh, we should not spend all this money. bbt the real challenge is looking at these things and making judgments and value judgments about what it is that we wanted to as a society. do we want to spend money on defense, educate kids, have cops
and firefighters, decent roads. john: does local government responsibility. >> sometimes the federal government gets into that's. john: he is keeping an embassy with 15,000 americans. he wants to spend more on defense, not as much as romney, but more. he wants to spend on everything. >> i'm not going to disagree in fight you on every one of these issues because there are some things that i wish we would cut. i would rather get out of afghanistan quicker than we are. there are things. the answer is not i don't think for any reasonable person to defend all spending programs at all times. what we have in our politics really in the end is a fight over priorities, isn't it? john: one last reason why i don't trust your favorite can't it. >> the war on drugs has been the other failure, and that think that we need to rethink it. decriminalize are marijuana laws >> what am not going to be doing is using just the resources to
try to circumvent state laws on this issue. john: and he absolutely has. he has rated more of these marijuana dispensaries than bush's people did. >> i have to tell you, i like the early obama there. it is a huge waste of money. we kid to a thousand better things of that. john: why is he a hypocrite? >> you know, i think he has bowed to political pressure on it. i think that -- i hope in the second term you will come around and do a better job. let's uni pressure him on it because that is really the biggest waste out there, that failed war on drugs. the real words are a big expense as well. it is good we can agree on something. john: thank-you, ellis henican. stay with us. the audience will quiz you later. coming up, i want to trash mitt romney. ann coulter is here to defend him.
♪ [applause] john: several years ago i heard mitt romney speak at the manhattan institute, and i was thrilled. this guy and a stance markets, free markets, cares about limiting government. finally, a politician who understands that too much regulation kills opportunity. but then the official campaign began. what i have heard since is panderrng. if he wants to start a trade war with china, in large the military. he sounds like a big government guy. the author of the new book month, ann coulter, is it is their right about that. he is faugh saying these big government thinks. >> would you call pandering is, getting elected. you know, the golden boys then libertarians blew up his campaign when he gave the libertarian answer on the 1964 civil rights act. suddenly he was tendering on that, john stossel.
john: let's play some clips. romney says he will repeal obamacare. but he wants to keep the popular parts. >> number one, pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan. john: that's popular. no one likes the idea that pre-existing conditions are covered, but that is not insurance, that is welfare. >> this is what our entire segment should beyond. of simply blowing off your obsession with drug legalization. health care. if we did not repeal obamacare in the next few years. john: repeal it but tepee expensive parts. cover the kids. >>